Meek Mill is convinced we are all living in the midst of an ongoing battle here in the United States.
In an Instagram post the Quarantine Pack rapper unloaded on a screenshot of a rioter receiving preferential house arrest while awaiting trial for his involvement in the violent insurrection and attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol building led by President Trump’s supporters on January 6.
“My whole race in jail for tryna protect themselves or some petty drugs!” Meek started off in the lengthy message. “We living in the middle of a silent war! You can run in the state capitol and get house arrest? just pay attention to that part …ain’t no protest that can fix that! We have no protection in the system as black folks and it’s not no telling what’s next!!!! Didn’t people die in that shit ….we would of had conspiracy to terrorism or something they made up….Y’all people are really on some KKK SHIT!”
In the days following the breach of the Capitol, Meek Mill has expressed his intents to move to Africa while also speculating that America “Might be the most racist country in the world.”
Lil Yachty also recently vented frustrations with the entire situation and inferred the outcome of the siege of the country’s highest statehouse would have been much different had the rioters were African Americans.
“R.I.P X fuck da news, If black people raided the Capitol we would all be dead,” Yachty wrote in a tweet.
Both Meek Mill and Lil Boat join a growing number of Hip Hop artists to condemn the blatant double standard regarding how protesters associated with the Black Lives Matter movement last year were treated in comparison to the Trump sympathizers that stormed the Capitol including Cardi B, 50-Cent, Wale & More.
Pepper, attorney since 1988 for James Earl Ray, the convicted killer of Martin Luther King Jr., believes that his client was a patsy, not the real assassin. He charges that the civil rights leader slain in 1968 was the victim of a conspiracy that involved Hoover’s FBI, the CIA, Army intelligence, the mafia and the Memphis, Tenn., police force, extending to the highest levels of the federal government, which viewed King as a dangerous revolutionary. Pepper has interviewed many new witnesses who remained silent during the last 27 years, and he names names of officials at the local and national levels who, he alleges, participated in the conspiracy. According to Pepper, a team of U.S. Army Special Forces snipers was at the scene, taking aim at King at the same moment as a back-up “civilian” assassin. The Army team, by this account, had orders to kill both King and the Reverend Andrew Young, but the final order to pull the trigger was never given because the “civilian” assassin-tentatively identified here as one Raul Pereira, not Ray-shot King first. Pepper interviewed two former Special Forces members who claim to have been part of the sniper squad. He also cites two failed, government-orchestrated attempts to assassinate King in 1965, as well as a subsequent mafia contract on the civil rights leader’s life by New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello. Pepper wants a trial for Ray, who, he asserts, was coerced into pleading guilty by his lawyer; the defense, he notes, has never even been allowed to test the rifle or bullets in evidence.
Phil Spector, the eccentric and revolutionary music producer who transformed rock music with his “Wall of Sound” method and who later was convicted of murder, has died. He was 81.
California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital.
Spector was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkston in 2003 at his castle-like mansion on the edge of Los Angeles. After a trial in 2009, he was sentenced to 19 years to life.
While most sources give Spector’s birth date as 1940, it was listed as 1939 in court documents following his arrest. His lawyer subsequently confirmed that date to The Associated Press.
Clarkson, star of “Barbarian Queen” and other B-movies, was found shot to death in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in the hills overlooking Alhambra, a modest suburban town on the edge of Los Angeles.
Until the actress’ death, which Spector maintained was an “accidental suicide,” few residents even knew the mansion belonged to the reclusive producer, who spent his remaining years in a prison hospital east of Stockton.
Decades before, Spector had been hailed as a visionary for channeling Wagnerian ambition into the three-minute song, creating the “Wall of Sound” that merged spirited vocal harmonies with lavish orchestral arrangements to produce such pop monuments as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby” and “He’s a Rebel.”
He was the rare self-conscious artist in rock’s early years and cultivated an image of mystery and power with his dark shades and impassive expression.
Tom Wolfe declared him the “first tycoon of teen.” Bruce Springsteen and Brian Wilson openly replicated his grandiose recording techniques and wide-eyed romanticism, and John Lennon called him “the greatest record producer ever.”
The secret to his sound: an overdubbed onslaught of instruments, vocals and sound effects that changed the way pop records were recorded. He called the result, “Little symphonies for the kids.”
By his mid-20s his “little symphonies” had resulted in nearly two dozen hit singles and made him a millionaire. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” the operatic Righteous Brothers ballad which topped the charts in 1965, has been tabulated as the song most played on radio and television — counting the many cover versions — in the 20th century.
Duke-Bootee, co-writer and rapper on Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s early hip-hop classic “The Message” — has passed away. He died from end-stage congestive heart failure on Wednesday (January 13). Duke Bootee was 69.
Born Edward Fletcher, the artist died at his home in Savannah, GA, as confirmed by his wife Rosita to the Rolling Stone.
Best known for his work as a member of Sugar Hill Records’ house band, Fletcher’s work on the politically charged 1982 song “The Message” (previously titled “The Jungle”) inspired samples by numerous artists over the years, including Canadian vaporware producer Blank Banshee on “Teen Pregnancy” a remix of Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self” and the 1997 song “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” by Puff Daddy The song was also featured in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
“The neighbourhood I was living in, the things I saw — it was like a jungle sometimes in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Even though we lived in a nice area, I’d sit in the living room and watch things happening across the street in the park. The lyrics were sort of cinematic: I tried to hold a message up to society,” Fletcher said of the career-defining track in an interview with The Guardian.
“The Message” would later be the first hip-hop song to be added to the National Registry.
In 1983, Fletcher and Furious Five member Melle Mel reunited to record “Message II (Survival).”
During his music career, Fletcher produced and mixed works from Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Diddy, Dr. John and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones.
In his later years, Fletcher would go on to earn his teaching certification and became an educator at Savannah State University in Georgia. He began teaching Critical Thinking and Communication at the school in 2014.
D.J. Premier often uses social media to acknowledge memorable anniversaries and key birthdays in Hip Hop. But Friday (January 15) marked a big anniversary of his own making, with Gang Starr‘s classic 1991 album Step in the Arena being released exactly 30 years ago to the day.
The veteran producer took to Instagram to share the cover art for Gang Starr’s second studio album, celebrating three decades and remembering Guru — his late partner in rhyme.
“30 YEARS… R.I.P. GURU,” he wrote.
Queens rapper Craig G of Marley Marl’s Cold Chillin’ Records group Juice Crew commented on the post thanking Preemo for letting him be involved in the project.
“My voice was all over this album,” he said. “Thanks @djpremier.”
As expected, loyal fans also took to the comments section to pay tribute to the album and its rightful place in Hip Hop history.
“This the true Blueprint,” one fan wrote. “Set the template for all the fly street shit.”
Another Instagram user thanked Preemo for helping them get through early life, saying, “This shit got me through a lot of dark times in my youth man y’all helped me see the power of music thank you.”
“My favorite thing about this cover is Guru in the Saints hat!” wrote another fan. “Great Album!”
Songs from the album have famously been used in video games in more recent years, including “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight” in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV and “Just to Get a Rep” in Thrasher: Skate and Destroy. “Step In the Arena” also appeared in Electronic Arts’ Skate It and Skate 2.
In 2001, D.j. Premier spoke to author Brian Coleman about Guru’s role in his career as a music producer and how Step in the Arena showed them flourishing as a duo.
“[Guru is] the first guy who really gave me a shot to do what I do, and through him, people got to hear the Gang Starr sound,” he said. “The sound I was doing was our sound, for us. He took the challenge of all the types of tracks I gave him and when it comes to the more abstract and experimental stuff, there’s a lot of MCs who wouldn’t have been able to handle it.”
He continued, “He can do thugged-out ghetto records and radio records, whatever you need, and he always takes his subjects and relates them to what’s going on in the world today. He’s just so versatile with his subject matter. And that record [Step In The Arena] was the first time that I think both of us really got our chance to shine for the world.”
Hip Hop pioneer Kurtis Blow— who was the first rapper ever to earn a gold record with 1980’s “The Breaks” — has struggled with cardiac issues for years. But shortly before 2020 came to a close, he underwent heart transplant surgery and has been on the road to healing ever since.
According to a pair of videos from The Roots’ Questlove and Public Enemy’s Chuck D, the 61-year-old MC is in great spirits, dancing his way out of the hospital last week. Blow is masked up and dancing to “The Breaks” as he raps along to the song.
“Mr @KurtisBlow1 thank you Godfather,” Chuck tweeted “out of the hospital after heart transplant.”
Questlove appeared equally as excited about Blow’s release and shared the same video on Instagram, this time with the caption, “Thank God The King Of Rap Is Home! (Brother @KurtisBlow celebrating a successful heart transplant leaving the hospital in fine health.
Blow, an ordained minister and strong believer in the power of God’s healing, was admitted to the hospital early last month, roughly four years after suffering his first heart attack in 2016. While three Los Angeles Police Department officers were on scene to help save Blow’s life that time, he weathered a setback in 2019 when he needed emergency open heart surgery after an aortic artery surgeons had repaired dissected.
He was rushed to UCLA Medical Center and admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After surviving that, Blow’s spleen then ruptured last March and nearly died, but his wife Shirley convinced him to go to the hospital before it was too late.
“The Covid 19 virus is crazy but last week I had another emergency surgery,” he explained in an Instagram post at the time. “My spleen was bleeding into my stomach. I went to the ER just in time because my wife made me go. I wanted to go in the morning. The surgeon said I was lucky to make it in time. They took out my spleen and saved my life. My spleen had splattered and I was bleeding internally.
“I am in recovery now and I thank God for the great physician and Dr. Jamali. The great surgeon Dr. Schriver and all the nurses and assistants at West Hills Hospital. Thanks to my wife and fam for all your prayers. Thank God for still another chance. 7 operations. A Cat with 9 lives – Amen!!”
Blow has truly earned that nickname but as he insinuated in a recent Twitter post, he won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
“Yes I have received a healthy heart – my donor was 34 – and God is still in the miracle business,” he tweeted. “thank you everyone for your prayers!!!!”
Nicki Minaj made Tracy Chapman an offer she could not refuse!
Tracy Chapman and Nicki Minaj have squashed their legal battle over an unreleased track by the rap superstar, which sampled one of the rocker’s songs.
The pair ended up in court after Nicki used a sample of Tracy Chapman’s song “Baby Can I Hold You” and flipped it into a track called “Sorry” feat: Nas, which was supposed to be on her fourth album Queen.
Tracy sued Nicki in October of 2018, after Funkmaster Flex debuted the unreleased song via his popular show on Hot 97, as Nicki prepared to release Queen.
Tracy Chapman sued Nicki for copyright infringement, but Nicki’s said she did nothing wrong since the record was never officially released and was protected under “fair use” laws.
Funk Flex was hauled into court, where he testified that he had obtained “Sorry” from one of his “bloggers” and not from the star.
Nicki made an offer to pay Tracy Chapman $450,000 to make the lawsuit disappear, and the offer was accepted.
In September of 2020, Nicki scored a huge victory when U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled in favor of the rapper, agreeing with her interpretation of the song was “fair use.”
“Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license,” Judge Phillips said in the ruling.
But the case was scheduled to be heard by a jury, to whether or not Nicki Minaj should be held liable for allegedly leaking the tune to Funk Flex.
Both parties agreed to settle the ongoing legal saga because the legal fees were piling up on both sides.
Donald Trump has condemned the Capitol Hill violence after being impeached for an unprecedented second time.
In a video released on the White House Twitter page which lasts just over five minutes, the US President promised those who engaged in last week’s “troubling” attack will be “brought to justice”.
He added that everyone who has supported his agenda should look for ways to ease tensions amid fears similar incidents could occur as Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20.
Trump did not mention the efforts to oust him from office at the same time House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was signing the article of impeachment against him that her chamber passed earlier in the day.
The House voted 232 to 197 in favour of impeachment for inciting insurrection during the riot which saw five people die.
His own personal accounts have been banned indefinitely from Twitter and Facebook after the social media platforms deemed his posts during the chaos to be encouraging violence.
He was also given a YouTube ban, lasting a minimum of seven days.
He repeatedly ignored calls to order the rioters to back down in the midst of the stand-off, which saw fanatical supporters – many of who were armed – maraud through the corridors of the Capitol, including entering the Senate chamber.
Members of Congress and other staff were forced to flee and, in some cases, barricade themselves away from the rioters.
During The January 6, violence the disgraced Republican leader attempted to distance himself from the Capitol riots saying “no true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”
Speaking from the Oval Office, he said: “I want to be very clear, I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week.
“Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement.”
He added: “Mob violence goes against everything I believe in.”
The article now will go to the Senate for an impeachment trial.
Hundreds of National Guard members are currently present at the Capitol complex, with video footage showing some sleeping on the floor in between shifts.
US security forces are mounting a national operation to thwart any violence before President-elect Biden takes office.
Federal and state officials are evaluating online threats and menacing messages to members of Congress and making sure the security operation has the force to repel an attack.
One police officer and four protesters died in the Capitol siege, which began after Trump called on thousands of supporters to march on Congress in a bid to stop the final certification of Biden’s election victory.
Trump has repeatedly falsely claimed he won the November election, citing widespread fraud but without supplying any evidence.
Lil Yachty is using his sizable Twitter platform to shine a light on the chaos currently taking place at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.
On Wednesday (January 6), hundreds of mask-less Trump supporters stormed the building in an effort to stop the electoral vote count, leading to the evacuation of both the House and Senate.
Upon seeing this, Yachty fired off a tweet to his 5.2 million followers that read, “R.I.P X fuck da news, If black people raided the Capitol we would all be dead.”
While Yachty may be stating the obvious, it’s a sentiment that’s resonating with countless people. After all, the numerous Black Lives Matter protests last summer saw an onslaught of police force and violence. Even when they were peaceful demonstrations, law enforcement deployed tear gas and rubber bullets, bruised faces and bodies and even shoved an elderly man to the ground.
But as the mostly white Trump supporters marched to the Capitol and broke into the building, law enforcement was notably absent. While the National Guard eventually did show up, many people believe the response time and amount of force paled in comparison to what the BLM protests saw last year.
Bay Area Hip Hop Legend Paris, who has built a career addressing racism, police brutality and other socio-political issues, admires Yachty for weighing in but knows that’s just a small part of it.
“What he said is true and it’s cool that Lil Yachty has formed a political opinion and is speaking on something other than the usual topics in Hip Hop,” “It’s easy to blast younger generations for not speaking out, so I applaud him. But we have to be sure that the public figures we pay attention to — and often look to guidance from — are up to the task and are informed about issues that should concern us all.
“Randomly saying something because it feels good at the moment doesn’t do anyone any good if there’s no knowledge behind the sentiment. Clout chasing can come in many forms. So while it’s great to see people’s consciousness activated, it’s important that we have more than a surface level of understanding.
For Paris and every other Black American, this is nothing new. When asked what’s going through his mind as he watches the madness unfurl on the news, the Safe Space Invader MC replied, “Not a goddamned thing.”
He added, “It will be back to business as usual in America soon enough. Back to war for profit, back to zero police reform, unresolved income inequality, political divisions and rampant racism, among other things. I can’t bring myself to care about the shit at the Capitol knowing about this country’s racist history toward my people regardless of who’s in office. I can’t.”
According to NBC New’s a woman who was shot inside the Capitol by a member of law enforcement has died and D.C. has been placed on a curfew. D.C. police recovered five weapons and arrested roughly 13 people, none of them residents of the district.
The death of a Capitol Police officer brings the toll from Jan 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol to 5 people.
The rampage that has shocked the world and left the country on edge forced the resignations of three top Capitol security officials over the failure to stop the breach. It has led lawmakers to demand a review of operations and an FBI briefing over what they called a “Terrorist Attack.” And it is prompting a broader reckoning over President Donald Trump’s tenure in office and what comes next for a torn nation.
Protesters were urged by Trump during a rally near the White House earlier Wednesday January The 6th to head to Capitol Hill, where lawmakers were scheduled to confirm Biden’s presidential victory. A mob swiftly broke through police barriers, smashed windows and paraded through the halls, sending lawmakers into hiding.
Here’s what we know about the lives that were lost:
Officer Brian Sicknick, 42
The U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that Officer Brian D. Sicknick was injured “while physically engaging with protesters” during the Jan 6 riot. He was the fifth person to die because of the Capitol protest and violence.
During the struggle at the Capitol, Sicknick, 42, was hit in the head with a fire extinguisher, two law enforcement officials said. The officials could not discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
His family said in a statement that Sicknick wanted to be a police officer his entire life. He served in the New Jersey Air National Guard before joining the Capitol Police in 2008.
“Many details regarding The events and the direct causes of Brian’s injuries remain unknown, and our family asks the public and the press to respect our wishes in not making Brian’s passing a political issue,” the family said.
Ashli Babbitt, 35
Capitol Police identified Ashli Babbitt, 35, of San Diego, as the woman who was fatally shot by an unidentified officer. Bystander video shows she was trying to climb through the broken window of a barricaded doorway inside the Capitol when the officer fired.
Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who identified as a Libertarian and supporter of the Second Amendment, frequently posted unsubstantiated views about election fraud by the president and his most extreme supporters — activists whose conspiracy theories and unflinching support for Trump have attracted large online following.
On social media, Babbitt often ranted against the president’s frequent targets — illegal immigration, government mandates to contain the coronavirus and Trump’s critics.
Her Twitter account promoted mainstream conservative views but also included references to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which centers on the baseless belief that Trump has been secretly fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex trafficking ring.
Kevin Greeson, 55
Kevin Greeson was from Athens, Alabama. His family says the 55-year-old had a heart attack amid the unrest Jan 6, They described him as a supporter of President Trump’s but denied that he condoned violence.
His wife, Kristi Greeson, emailed a statement to WKRG News 5 saying, “he was excited to be there to experience this event — he was not there to participate in violence or rioting, nor did he condone such actions.” She went on to say he had a history of high blood pressure.
“Our family is devastated. We are thankful for all of the thoughts and prayers and appreciate privacy at this time as we grieve,” she wrote. “Kevin was a wonderful father and husband who loved life. He loved to ride motorcycles, he loved his job and his coworkers, and he loved his dogs.”
Benjamin Philips, 50
Benjamin Philips, 50, of Schuylkill County, Pa., died of a stroke, according to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
NBC News reports Philips was a computer programmer who founded a website for Trump supporters. According to the report, the website helped coordinate rides for people to head to Washington for January 6 event.
“As my children are grieving and processing the shocking events, I respectfully request privacy,” his ex-wife, Nicole Mun, said in a statement.
Rosanne Boyland, 34
Rosanne Boyland also died due to a medical emergency. According to Atlanta News Station WXIA first responders performed CPR on her after she collapsed on January 6 that evening.
WXIA spoke to her family who described her as a “a really happy, wonderful person.”
They say she was a passionate supporter of Trump and there was a family argument over whether she should attend the events in Washington. Family members told WXIA Boyland got wrapped up in dangerous conspiracy theories and political beliefs.
Her family said Boyland was an aunt to two girls who adored her.